(This is a continuing series detailing my playthrough of Planescape Torment. You can check out the whole run on the Nostalgia Lane page.)
I didn’t have enough time to finish up the Brothel of Slaking Intellectual Lusts last time around, so it’s back into this mental red light district for me!
This is actually a pretty cool place in the game. It’s just jam-packed full of quests and fascinating people, and the whole emphasis on conversation and intellectual interaction makes this probably the least tawdry place in the whole game. Hey, at least it’s not wall-to-wall corpses like 90% of the other locations I’ve visited so far. Plus, the music is actually peaceful and there’s a tree or two (come to think of it, I barely recall any other trees in the game).
Moving along, I talk to Nenny Nine-Eyes, who is hilariously air-headed and naive. It’s still amazing to me how much personality comes out of a few lines of text description and dialogue, especially since I can’t really zoom in and see anyone’s face or (usually) hear their voice. Kind of like a really excellent book, come to think of it.
Other prostitutes include a mute lady who apparently knows a lot about Ravel, a medusa chick, and a tiefling who spends a good part of the conversation throwing wonderfully rude insults at you (at least Morte was able to gain a few new taunts from that). Another one of the ladies is a story-trader, and between her, you, and your companions, there are quite a few good short stories told (I liked Annah’s best of them all, it’s a classic little horror tale).
I also find a cellar with the ladies’ diaries (in crystal stone form). I can’t read any of them, but one has a name scrubbed off of its base.
Two of the prostitutes say that they have had personal effects stolen — a scent and a veil. Hm… who around this place has a weird fetish for girlie things? Yup, it’s our good friend Luis the armoire, who gives up the goods after I whine at him for a while. Again, it’s a shame that there wasn’t an option to burn the thing down, but you use what you got, I guess. The good news is that one of the ladies is so happy that she gives me a +1 to charisma (yay, 18 points!) and the combined XP levels up half of my party.
The best part about doing all of this is that now Fall-From-Grace joins my party, making it a nice even six. She’s got healing skills, too, which will come in most useful. She tells me that she chose her name to signify that she’s fallen (or risen, actually) from the nasty habits of her people.
Fall-From-Grace’s addition to the party also provides the key I need to unlock the truth about Morte. She recognizes a particular scent on him that means he used to be in hell (or hells, as the game puts it). I have a long, long heart-to-heart with the skull and find out the full story.
Morte can’t remember exactly who he used to be, but he knew that he was a less-than-scrupulous fellow who’s actions ended up getting people killed — including me. His skull was put into a pillar in the hells, which is where he encountered me again. He begged to be taken with me, and I released him upon getting his word that he would serve me. He’s done so ever since, mostly because he feels tremendously guilty about his part in making me what I am.
He also sheds some light on his past history traveling with me and why he’s been closed-mouthed in telling his story:
It kind of makes sense, really. Apart from learning the truth, the upside of this is that Morte gets a boost to his stats across the board, making him a better fighter. I think I’m going to need all the advantages I can get soon enough…